Archive | Offshore

One Planet, One Ocean, sponsored by Pharmaton, presented

Posted on 18 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The boat One Planet, One Planet Ocean which will participate in the third edition of the Barcelona World Race sponsored by Pharmaton® , has been presented today at midday. The presentation act has been attended by the main guests, skippers Aleix Gelabert and Dídac Costa, who were joined on this occasion by actor Jesús Olmedo; Susana Laguna, head of PR at OTC in Boehringer-Ingelheim and Xavier Amador, Director of Institutional Relations from the Department of Life Quality, Equality and Sports of Barcelona City Council.

Following the speeches from the main guests, the skippers and the Pharmaton® ambassador went on board the One Planet, One Ocean, and Jesús Olmedo handed over two boxes of Pharmaton® to the skippers symbolising the energy required to sail around the world. The actor then broke a bottle of cava over the bow for good luck in the next voyages.

Collaboration with UNESCO

The team formed by Aleix Gelabert and Dídac Costa will collaborate in several projects during the race around the world through the cooperation between the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO (COI-UNESCO).

The results of the One Planet, One Ocean-Pharmaton® will contribute to the efforts of the Scientific Community, coordinated by the COI-UNESCO, and will constitute a fundamental part of the Barcelona World Race educational programme.

A strong, reliable boat

The One Planet, One Ocean-Pharmaton® is the former Kingfisher, the boat on board which Ellen MacArthur achieved breaking the Atlantic record from Plymouth to Newport in 2000, finished second in the Vendée Globe 2000/01 and claimed victory at the 2002 Route du Rhum. Furthermore, the boat participated in the previous two editions of the BWR as Educación sin Fronteras in 2007/08 and Fòrum Marítim Català in2010/11. The One Planet, One Ocean-Pharmaton® is a strong, efficient boat designed by Owen-Clarke Design, and built in 2000 in New Zealand. The boat has undergone a thorough inspection in the FNOB Sailing Base with several keel and appendix tests, inspection of the manoeuvring system and the tuning of all electronic equipment.

The team

Aleix Gelabert

Born in Girona 37 years ago. Architect. The Barcelona World Race means a huge step following a successful participation at the Mini Transat 2011, which was his first crucial test. A prestigious professional in the world of technical preparation of racing boats, Aleix is familiar with the IMOCA class after being a member of the Onshore team of boats such as GAES Centros Auditivos with team Anna Corbella and Dee Caffari, on board which he sailed the Vuelta a España held in 2010. He was also member of the Synerciel (former Renault Z.E.), boat on board which he sailed the tuning crossing from Barcelona to Lorient together with Jean Le Cam and Bruno García, before the French sailor’s Vendée Globe. In offshore cruiser regattas he holds two victories in the Copa del Rey. He was also a member of the Spanish Pre-Olympic team for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Aleix Gelabert sails representing Club de Vela Blanes.

Dídac Costa

Born in Barcelona 33 years ago. Fireman and undoubtedly the indispensable qualities developed in this hard and highly technical profession have been very important in his Oceanic career. All of them will be one of the elements to be taken into consideration on board the One Planet, One Ocean Pharmaton®. Dídac is one of the young sailors from the Mini youth squads. His sailing career is mainly based on Solo and two crew races. In the 2011 edition of the Mini Transat 6.50 he was the first Spanish team in the Serie category. He has won regattas such as the Sanremo Mini SOLO, the Mini MED 500, two crew race, and the Ophiusa Regatta. He was third at the Gran Premio Italia, two crew race, in 2013 together with Bruno García. Dídac Costa sails representing Club Nàutic l’Escala.

The team has been working over the past months in the boat tuning starting the first navigations last July. Following the qualification course for the regatta, of over 2,800 miles in Atlantic waters, the team will head to Sanxenxo (Galicia) to undertake the last big Oceanic training.

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Barcelona World Race: the countdown has begun

Posted on 16 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Barcelona World Race] With just three and a half months to go until the start of the Barcelona World Race, the countdown has begun for the teams taking part in the double-handed, non-stop, round the world challenge. Getting ‘back to school’  has been even more intense this year for the teams, after a summer that left little time for relaxing as the skippers followed their regatta preparation schedules both on shore and out on the water.

Cheminées Poujoulat

These summer months have seen the French-Swiss team Cheminées Poujoulat stick to their plan, focussing on making adjustments to the boat under the watchful supervision of skippers Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam and adapting the yacht to their requirements. The boat has undergone a refit in Brest (France). From September 19th, Cheminées Poujoulat will launch into an intensive schedule of training.


For Neutrogena, with Spain’s Guillermo Altadill and Chile’s José Muñoz, it has been a busy summer, as the Catalan skipper explains: “We’ve been doing a bit of everything; training, sailing and a boat refit and we’ve also taken some time off, although we’ve been racing on other boats. There are always more regattas during the summer, so I like to take part in as many as I can, on any type of boat and with different people. It gives you a lot of knowledge and experience”.

Altadill is happy with the boat preparation: “It’s ready. We have a new keel, a new bulb, new rigging and sails. The boat has been improved as far as possible for the team, so it’s ready. We could even load on the food and set off tomorrow!”.

The Spaniard said that the crew preparation was covering “all areas”, to boost skills and get to grips with the onboard systems. “Personally I’m very focussed right now on physical training and getting a better understanding of the meteorology”, he said.

The motivation displayed by Altadill comes as no surprise. Despite his immense ocean sailing experience, the Barcelona World Race is still unfinished business for the skipper: “I’ve taken part in many round the world regattas, but I have never finished a Barcelona World Race. I want to finish it and in a good position. I always forget about what I’ve done before and focus completely on the next competition, as if it were the most important race of my career”.

Hereon the team’s plans are clear: “We’re going to do our final test run of 2,000 miles, we’ll take the boat to Barcelona and we’ll wait for the start. Whilst we’re there we’ll meet with the sponsors, continue our physical and mental training and we’ll relax a bit”, explained the skipper from Barcelona.

One Planet One Ocean

For Aleix Gelabert and Dídac Costa there has been no time for a holiday. “For us every minute is worth its weight in gold”, said Gelabert.

The boat was put back on the water on the 25th of June after an extensive refit. “We spent the month of July doing short runs on the boat to get to grips with the onboard systems and to continue getting to know the boat. In August we did the qualifying run for the Barcelona World Race: 2,800 miles via the Canaries and Madeira. We had 15 days of intensive sailing, which was really useful for us to draw some conclusions”, explained Gelabert.

Costa also commented: “After three months of working on shore with the boat and doing physical training we’re now in the phase of notching up as many hours on the water as we can. The aim is to really get to see how the boat handles in different conditions and to maximise the dynamic between us”.

Gelabert said: “We’re really excited and happy to see how we are burning through the different stages leading to the start of this round the world regatta”.

The plan for the coming months is to “try out the new sails, fine-tune the boat’s polars, polish off some of our manoeuvres, square up the energy consumption and lots of other things”, said Costa. “And to sail as much as possible”, added Gelabert. “So, we’ve haven’t got time to hang around!”, said Costa.

There’s no doubt that the team’s schedule leaves no room for resting: “At the end of September we’ll sail to Sanxenxo in Galicia, where we’ll spend the entire month of October, sailing in ocean conditions, which are difficult to come across in the Mediterranean. That will be the last big test for us to really try out the boat and as a crew ahead of the Barcelona World Race”.

The team are also fine-tuning the instruments they’ll be carrying on board One Planet One Ocean as part of the collaboration between the FNOB and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission, that sees them taking part in various scientific projects during the regatta. “Right now the technicians are working on the data recording system (temperature, salinity and microplastics concentration) so that the levels are sent directly to land every team we link up via satellite, so that we can minimise the impact of the experiments on our sailing routine”, said Dídac Costa.

GAES Centros Auditivos

The GAES Centros Auditivos team with Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín did stop to enjoy some well-deserved holiday time, however.  The IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race and all of the preparation in the run-up to the regatta “meant five very intense months” so the crew needed “a little break to enable us to take on the final stretch to the start of the Barcelona World Race with our batteries recharged”, said Corbella.

The boat itself has been undergoing the final refit ahead of the Barcelona World Race. “As well as carrying out improvements that we skippers felt were necessary after the New York to Barcelona Race”, says Marín. “The entire boat has been given a new coat of paint, the new keel has been put in and the boat and mast have been thoroughly checked to guarantee that they are ready for sailing round the world, among other jobs”.

“We’re heading into the final strait. The boat is almost ready and we’re following the scheduled plan on a number of fronts: physical preparation, meteorology and training sessions for different boat systems, such as the electronics and upperworks and electrics and hydraulics”, adds the Catalan sailor, who said that both skippers were “very happy with the potential and the performance of the boat and were very hopeful ahead of this latest challenge with GAES Centros Auditivos”.

With three and a half months to go to the start, the team is back in action to test out the changes to the boat carried out during the most recent refit, testing out new sails and fine-tuning polars, as well as training on the water and boosting their physical condition with training. At the end of September the crew will sail to Galicia (Spain) to take on the final test with the definitive boat configuration for the Barcelona World Race, trying out all of the onboard systems in ocean sailing conditions.

“We’ll return to Barcelona at the beginning of November. Thereon until the start we won’t be pushing the boat, so as not to take any unnecessary risks and we’ll focus on our own personal preparation”, the skippers said.

Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss has had a very busy summer indeed, including training on the water with Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes sailing together to Poland and Denmark. However, the British skipper did manage to take a couple of weeks off to enjoy some time with his family and to relax. Pepe Ribes also managed to spend time with his wife and son.

Right now the boat is in the shipyard, in refit mode. “When Hugo Boss gets back on the water I think the priority will be continuing to train together. We’ve planned the coming months in great detail and there’s always a lot to do, because each day brings new challenges and solutions”, explained the Spanish skipper.

“Are we ready for the Barcelona World Race?” Thomson asks himself. “We’re getting there. We’re training and doing what we need to do to compete successfully. So I don’t think we need to get nervous or stressed, because we’ve been preparing well. We’re really excited about the start”.

Alex Thomson doesn’t think there are any favourites: “There are lots of teams with the potential to win. The experience of Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam is enormous, Neutrogena has demonstrated it can go up against the latest generation yachts and GAES Centros Auditivos has been training really hard… The competition will be tough and I think Pepe and I are in a good position and we’ve got a good boat, so we’ll see. I’m really looking forward to it!”.

Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane

The team with Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane suffered a setback when the German publishers Mare abandoned their project in April this year. The pair have spent the past few months on the lookout for a new boat for the Barcelona World Race, as the yacht they had been set to race on went to Bernard Stamm.

The German French duo will soon be ready with news of their new boat and sponsor.

Zbigniew Gutkowski and Maciej Marczewski (pre-registered)

The team with Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski and Maciej “Magic” Marczewski have recently pre-registered for the Barcelona World Race. The two Polish skippers are set to complete their registration in the coming weeks, when they will also announce the name of their sponsor and the name of their boat, POL 53, the yacht Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape sailed to second place in the Barcelona World Race 2007/08.

Gutek and Magic have already tested out their boat, sailing almost daily for the past four months to test out and make modifications to the boat configuration, mast and rigging. The boat is currently undergoing a refit at the Sunreef shipyard in Gdansk (Poland), including paintwork, changes to the electronics, lines, rigging, new sails and a general inspection. Meanwhile, the duo have begun an intensive physical training programme including cycling, crossfit and running.


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Alex Thomson Racing announces the build of the new HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60

Posted on 01 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: Alex Thomson Racing] Alex Thomson Racing is announcing the build of the new HUGO BOSS IMOCA 60 to be launched in summer 2015, with the aim of winning the 2016 Vendee Globe.

The plans the Alex Thomson Racing Team are making in this period will have a significant effect on the competitiveness of the skipper and the boat years in advance of races such as the Vendee Globe. The Team aims to put Alex Thomson on the start line of the Vendee Globe with a boat that is good enough to win.

Financially, building a new race boat is a considerable investment and Alex Thomson Racing are privileged to have the support of their sponsors and financial backing to announce this boat build.  Whilst the IMOCA class have made a number of rule changes to increase the reliability and reduce the costs of the class, the investment is still upwards of €3million. The Alex Thomson Racing Team have been sponsored by HUGO BOSS since 2003 and have secured continued sponsorship until 2018.  “We have a great sponsor in HUGO BOSS. Our team has developed into not only being capable of delivering our sponsors marketing objectives, but also putting a winning campaign together.  Today, we take a big step forward in our ambition to be a winning part of the Ocean Masters circuit and delivering on our shared ambition” said Team CEO, Stewart Hosford.

The Team have chosen Guillaume Verdier and the VPLP Team to design the new HUGO BOSS. Technical Lead from Alex Thomson Racing, Ross Daniel said “To date we have had an incredible experience with working together with Guillaume and Vincent at VPLP/Verdier. These guys are incredibly down to earth, extremely talented, and have a passion for creating winning IMOCA boats.” Aware of the importance of delivering the project on time, on budget & to quality, the Alex Thomson Racing Team understand the significance of having the right project manager and the right builder to lead the project. The Team are currently in negotiations with Hythe based Green Marine to complete the build. Simon McGoldrick, the Team’s Naval Architect said “We hope and believe that the team at Green Marine are the right partner for this project, they are experienced and capable in building custom composites on time and on budget.  Given the choice we would always chose to build the boat in the UK as we are a British Team and want to support the industry and local suppliers that we rely on day to day”. The boat will be launched in summer 2015, withthe objective to be race ready to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre in late October 2015.

With the IMOCA rule still essentially an open rule, where aside from the one design mast and keel, the designers and the teams are still able to seek competitive advantage through design and build.  A key element in producing a successful build is to be willing to take some risks and innovate.  The hull shapes of the 2016 Vendee Globe IMOCA 60s are likely to be an evolution of the current boats, but one area that has seen significant R&D is the new types of appendages.  The IMOCA class has always led in the development of new concepts in offshore racing and will again push the boundaries during the 2016 cycle. McGoldrick said; “This Vendèe Globe cycle will be particularly exciting as we will almost certainly see the use of foils not too dissimilar to those used in the Americas Cup.  The foils should significantly increase the performance of the boats, an increase we have not seen since the canting keel was invented.  Today all the simulations are theory based and of course theory can be very different to reality, so it is going to be a fascinating next 12 months to see what emerges”.

Lastly, the Alex Thomson Racing Team believes it is crucial to ensure the build is in phase with the competition.  There are four new boats that have already been announced- Safran, Banque Populaire, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild and Saint-Michel-Virbac.  These teams are in various stages of design and build and will be hitting the water from January through to late summer 2015to compete in theOcean Masters circuit and the Vendee Globe 2016.

“We want to take advantage of the very latest design thinking, but also get the boat in the water early enough to ensure reliability.  We have a simple objective and that is to put Alex Thomson on the start line, with a boat that is as good, if not better, than all the other boats that will line up on the Ocean Masters circuit” said Hosford.

In the meantime, Alex Thomson is preparing to take on the Barcelona World Race, the double handed, non-stop, round the world race, on December 31st 2014 together with co-skipper Pepe Ribes. Alex’s perspective: “We have worked hard to put together the right combination to make a successful project. We feel that we have put ourselves in-phase with the right designers and the right team internally and externally to be fully competitive through this cycle. I feel honored and privileged to have this opportunity – I cant wait!”

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World Record for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

Posted on 16 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Royal Offshore Racing Club] Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Volvo Ocean 65, Azzam, skippered by Ian Walker, crossed the finish line of the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes at 22.20.28 BST on Friday 15th August 2014 with an elapsed time of 4 days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, 28 seconds.

This breaks the previous World Record and Race Record for a monohull set by Volvo 70 Groupama, in 2010, by 1 day, 08 hours, 16 minutes and 27 seconds. Azzam’s record is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

This is the second World Record broken during the 2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

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Running with Bertha: Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Posted on 09 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Royal Racing Club] The Royal Racing Club made the following announcement on the eve of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race:

“In consideration of the weather forecast for the foreseeable future, showing a low pressure moving through The Channel in the early hours of the morning and eventually becoming stationary over Northern Scotland, bringing a strong Westerly to North Westerly airflow for the first days of the race, it has been decided by the Race Committee to reverse the course to sail anticlockwise around Great Britain and Ireland. The decision was based on aiming to provide a more enjoyable race for all the yachts in the fleet. The start will still be from the Royal Yacht Squadron to the East.”

News that the course would be reversed drew a packed house to the Press Conference and Skippers’ Briefing. It was standing room only, as world-class professional sailors and experienced offshore Corinthians listened in.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was a panellist at the Press Conference, made up of a broad cross-section of the 200 sailors from all over the world who will be taking part in the race. Sir Robin will be competing two handed at 75 years old. The offshore legend has raced around Britain and Ireland eight times before and was the first man to race around the world non-stop, single-handed.

RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen asked if Sir Robin was happy with the change of course: “Is the Pope Catholic? Like everyone else I’m absolutely delighted we’re going that way round. We’ll get round faster. I think it’s a very sensible decision on your (RORC) part. The smaller boats will have taken a hammering and none of us would have enjoyed it. So I think this is a very sensible decision by the race organisers.”

RORC Commodore, Mike Greville, welcomed Sevenstar Managing Director, Richard Klabbers to the Skipper’s Briefing. Richard Klabbers competed in the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on board Harry Heijst’s S&S 41,Winsome. “From my own experience last time, I know how hard it is. It took me 14 days that time but we avoided the bad weather at least. I wish you all the best of luck. We are a partner of this race to give back to this sport, not to create more business, so please, all of you, come back all in one piece safe and sound.”

Volvo Ocean Race navigator, Campbell Field gave a detailed weather briefing to the ensemble, explaining why the decision was made to reverse the course. “Part of the decision when we looked at the forecast this morning was due to the following: quite a lot of wind has been driven from a westerly direction as former Hurricane Bertha makes her way through. Part of that data that helped make the decision to not go to the west was that boats would have been making their way across the Celtic Sea with the potential for significant wave heights of 6-8 metres – you could see 10 metres out there – and a fairly ferocious westerly breeze with nowhere to go.”

The Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race is set to start on schedule at 1200 BST, tomorrow, Sunday 10th August. The fleet will still start in an easterly direction from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line towards the Forts in the Eastern Solent. Conditions look to be absolutely spectacular with the fastest boats flying downwind at phenomenal speeds.

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The stage is set for the Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands

Posted on 18 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

With Team Brunel and Team Campos docked in Marina Rubicón, making the finals tweaks to their VO65′s, and with the expected arrival of Team SCA, early on Saturday morning, everything is ready for the start of the inaugural Round Canary Islands Race.

The route of the Round Canary Islands Race is fairly simple. The start will be given a few hundred meters off the Marina Rubicón entrance, which is located at the southernmost tip of Lanzarote. The VO65′s will then head north and round the archipelago’s seven main islands and handful of smaller islets with a straightforward rule. Boats have to leave all islands to starboard, round the archipelago and return to Marina Rubicón.

The Canary islands being in the trade wind belt, the prevailing wind is northeasterly throughout the year, being strongest in July and August and lightest in October and November. The high volcanic islands cause some local variations in both wind direction and strength. As a rule, there are different winds in the lee of the islands compared to the coasts exposed to the trade winds. When the NE trades are blowing strongly, an opposing wind usually blows on the other side of the island, varying in strength with the strength of the trade wind. A funnelling effect is also felt along the coasts of some of the mountainous islands and the trades can be accelerated by up to 15 knots in places.

After crossing the starting line, the fleet will head upwind to the northernmost islet of the archipelago, the volcanic islands of Alegranza. After rounding Alegranza, the VO65′s will head south, sailing along the east coastline of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. They will then embark on a westward route towards El Hierro, the westernmost island of the Canaries, that will first take them south of Gran Canaria.

Common sense would dictate that navigators would choose a route that minimizes distance. However, the island of Tenerife and its imposing Teide mountain cast a wind shadow that extends tens of miles south of the island. Teide has an altitude of 3,718 meters, making it the highest mountain in Spain and one of the highest in Europe. With a surface of more than 2,000 km2, Tenerife’s impact on the atmosphere is such that the fleet will have to sail further south. Navigators will have to find the sweet spot between minimizing distance and maximizing speed.

Rounding the island of El Hierro will be another critical point. Going too close to the shore could come with a heavy price as the boats could find themselves trapped in a hole for hours with hardly any breeze. Once past El Hierro, the VO65′s will again sail upwind, towards La Palma, their final rounding point. From that point, the fleet will have a 200-mile stretch of nearly straight-line reaching to the finish line, off the Marina Rubicón.

NASA’s satellite photo, taken exactly 13 months ago, clearly shows the effect the land masses have on the prevailing trade winds. The breeze is funneled between the islands but becalmed to the south of them.

Telefonica training route – August 2011

Team Telefonica had established in 2011 its training base in Marina Rubicón, in view of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, and rounding the Canary archipelago was, obviously, part of its training schedule. The Google Map here below isn’t a simple approximation of a possible route but represents the exact trace of the Spanish VOR70 in the training session that started on August 17, 2011 and lasted exactly 52 hours and 21 minutes.

Although the Telefonica VOR70 wasn’t in racing mode, as the three VO65′s will be from tomorrow, her route gives a very good idea of what the three teams will be doing during the weekend. It will also be interesting to see how the brand new VO65′s compare to the VOR70′s and this will be the very first time such a precise reference exists.

Conditions during Telefonica’s training session in 2011 were quite brisk and the Spanish VOR70 was doing most of the time 20kt with peaks of 25kt. The only major setback the Spanish team suffered, was getting trapped, nearly windless, south of El Hierro for approximately one hour.

Conditions during the following three days are expected to be very similar to the ones Telefonica experienced three years ago and given the fact the VO65′s are considered to be, on average, 10%-15% slower than their predecessors, organizers expect a duration of about 58 hours for the Round Canary Islands Race. The winning boat is expected to cross the finish line in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Stay tuned here for more exhaustive coverage of the Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race, starting at Saturday noon.

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Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam at the start of the Barcelona World Race

Posted on 17 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: IMOCA Ocean Masters] Bernard Stamm has hardly stopped over the past few months, busily putting his new project into place. The determined Swiss sailor won his bet today as he prepares for a new round-the-world race – double-handed this time.

So the double winner of the Around Alone will be on the startline at the next edition of the Barcelona World race at the helm of an IMOCA 60 – former Jörg Riechers’ boat Mare – which will be dressed up in the colours of Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard’s loyal partner since 2003 who will side with him again on this new adventure. Jean Le Cam will accompany him on this “four-handed” adventure.

Since last December, Bernard Stamm has done everything in his power to bounce back and build up a new project. “Everything kind of fell apart with I lost my boat, especially since no other IMOCA 60 seemed to be available. Which is why I tried working on other projects simultaneously, and some of them nearly worked. Then I found out through the class that an IMOCA boat was on the market, so I went for it.” Bernard Stamm has signed a lease contract with an option to buy Jörg Riecher’s Farr-design boat that was launched in 2007 and aboard which Michel Desjoyeaux won the 2008-09 Vendée Globe. It then came second in the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race with Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, and was back at the 2012-13 Vendée Globe with Jérémie Beyou.

“It has been regularly re-fitted to follow the IMOCA rule and all work carried out has been done well. It’s still a big step down for me, since my team and I had developed our previous boat to a really high level,” explains Bernard, who will be sailing his new boat from Lorient to Brest this week. “We will work on the 60-foot boat at our home-base, completing the work that the old owner began then adapting it to our way of working. And of course we’ll dress it up with our sponsors colours,” he added, happy to announce that Cheminées Poujoulat, world leader in fireplaces and chimneys, will be continuing to support him as he heads towards the third edition of the Barcelona World race, the only round-the-world double-handed non-stop and without assistance race, which starts in Barcelona in Spain on 31 December 2014. “Cheminées Poujoulat has been active in sailing with Bernard Stamm for aver 10 years. Participating in a round-the-world with such an experienced and competitive team is a great opportunity for our brand,” declared Frédéric Coirier, CEO of the Poujoulat Group.

Quite a tandem!

“Between us, we have accumulated a huge amount of miles, that’s for sure. Racing together will be an enriching experience – things kind of happened by chance, but it’s great,” said Jean Le Cam. Together the two men will form one of the most experienced teams in the race.”

Between them they accumulate no less than six Vendée Globe participations, nine round-the-worlds and sixty or so Transats! Suffice to say that the two men aren’t just here to take part – they’re here to win. Over the next few months they will be doing everything they can to get there, although they are aware they’ll have to move and adapt fast. “The race start is tomorrow! The boat should be back in the water by the end of August and then we have to learn to tame it. We’ll multiply our training sessions, tests, calibrations as much as we can in order to be at the top as quickly as possible,” continues the Swiss sailor who will be fully supported by his loyal team. “I’ve done everything I can to maintain my team and base in Brest over the past months. It wasn’t easy but today these efforts are paying off and that’s good news,” he stated, adding that he will continue to sail on the Diam 24 One Design circuit in parallel. “We’re already committed and it allows us to maintain a continuity in our preparation. We’ll be taking part in the next races even if we missed the Trinité-sur-Mer race last weekend. And I’ll have to step up my physical preparation to be 100% up to speed by September because I still have a few cervical problems from my accident in December that I’m treating with my physiotherapist. All the thorax injuries have healed”, concluded Bernard who should soon be announcing the arrival of new partners very shorty.

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Marina Rubicón sets ambitious goal with Round Canary Islands Race

Posted on 15 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

A brand new offshore race will see the light this weekend off Marina Rubicón, in Lanzarote, Spain, as a local ORC fleet and no less than three VO65′s will embark on the inaugural edition of the Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race.

As its name implies, the participating fleet will set off in front of Marina Rubicón, round the seven Canary islands and finish again off Marina Rubicón, covering a total of, approximately, 650 nautical miles. Conditions are expected to be varied and crews will have a full plate during the three racing days.

Three VO65′s, half the six-strong fleet that will take part in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race, will be on the starting line off Marina Rubicón at 12pm local time on Saturday. This will also make it the very first time the brand new one-designs will line up against each other and will certainly provide a unique opportunity to gauge their performance in view of the start in Alicante, less than three months from now.

Team Brunel, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, is an obvious participant as the Dutch team call Marina Rubicón their home, having established a training base there a few months ago.

Team SCA will also sail on familiar waters as their training base is also in Lanzarote, a few miles north of Marina Rubicón. It will be very interesting to evaluate how the all-female crew measures up to their all-male opponents. Team SCA’s squad is now complete with 15 women from five nations representing, without an doubt, the best of the best in female offshore sailing. In addition, Team SCA is the best-funded of the six participating teams in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race and its crew has thousands of ocean miles under their belts, a lot of them in two-boat training mode against a modified VOR70.

The third participant will, undoubtedly, be the one to take a close look at. Pedro Campos’ Team Campos, skippered by Spanish champion Iker Martinez, will actually make their first public appearance after officially announcing their participation less than a month ago. Despite having a star-studded crew they lack the training time their opponents have had so far. The Spanish VO65 is currently on her way to Lanzarote, having left her base in northern Spain on Monday.

What will certainly catch our attention on Saturday, and that of our camera, will certainly be Michel Desjoyeaux! Team Campos has just announced that the French offshore sailing legend will be onboard in order to coach the team and help in their preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Although the focus will be on the VO65′s, a fleet of local ORC’s is also expected to take part in this first edition of the race and organizers have set an ambitious goal to make this bi-annual race the European equivalent of the Caribbean RORC 600. The Canary Islands certainly have the conditions to make this happen and one can only hope that a few years from now the Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race will have become a permanent feature in the European sailing season. will, obviously be there in order to provide full coverage. Stay tuned for two days, Friday and Saturday, of in-depth reports, photos and interviews from Marina Rubicón. If conditions allow it, we will follow the three VO65′s during the initial dozens of miles of the race.

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